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Reps Begin Probe of SEEPCO Over Local Content Utilization

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Femi Gbajabiamila
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By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja


The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Nigerian Content and Monitoring Development to investigate the level of utilization of the Local Community and the Nigeria human and material resources by Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) in Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency of Delta State.

The Committees are to report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.


This followed a motion on the ‘Need to Investigate Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO’s) Non-Compliance with Nigeria Local Content Act, sponsored by Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta).


Ossai noted that the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act of 2010 (otherwise called the Local Content Act) was a milestone in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.


“Also notes that the Local Content Act was enacted to provide a Legal Framework for increased Nigerian’s participation in all the activities connected with exploration, exploitation, development, transportation and sale of crude oil and gas resources in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
“Further notes that the Local Content Act specifies 70% use of indigenous labour, materials and resources in all oil and gas projects in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
“Aware that Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO), an Indian company with businesses in 6 continents and several countries such as India, USA, China, Japan, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia, ventured into Nigerian oil and gas market in 2005 and is presently, successfully producing crude oil in the Niger Delta;


“Observes that most of the human and material resources and services being utilized by SEEPCO in the Niger Delta region and particularly, in Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency are mostly Indians.
“Informed that under the Local Content Act prescribed that the minimum Nigerian content requirement in any project, service or product specification to be executed in the Nigerian oil and gas industry shall be consistent with the level set-out in the Schedule to the Act.


“Cognizant that the neglect over the years by the Nigerian Content Monitoring Board that is saddled with responsibility to monitor, supervise and coordinate the Local Content Act, has grossly defeated the purpose of the prescribed minimum thresholds for Nigerian participation in the activities within the Nigerian oil and gas industry. “Also aware that Section 16 l(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 enjoins the Federal Government to “manage and operate major sectors of its economy,” thereby avoiding foreign domination of the economy”, Ossai stated.


The House therefore, directed the Federal Ministry of Environment to carry out a sustainable campaign on the dangers of Nylon and Plastic waste, and to, as a matter of urgency, initiates a programme for collection and recycling of nylon and plastic wastes across the nation.


It mandated the Committee on Environment to Investigate the circumstances surrounding the non-implementation of Plastic Policy of the Federal of Environment in Collaboration with States and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.


NEWS

NSCDC Uncovers Illegal Bunkering Sites in Rivers Cemeteries

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has busted illegal crude oil refining sites at cemeteries in Abalama and Oproama Communities in Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The security outfit said the feat was achieved by its Marine Anti-vandal Squad after a four hour operational tour on water across the two coastal communities.

Speaking to newsmen after the operation, the NSCDC spokesman, Rivers State Command, Superintendent Olufemi Ayodele, said its operatives successfully uncovered the illegal bunkering sites through credible and sustained intelligence.

Ayodele recalled that the NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, gave a marching order to all formations in the Niger Delta to step up intelligence and operational efficiency in the fight against oil theft and illegal oil bunkering activities.

He expressed worry about how the miscreants devised a new means of converting cemeteries to illegal bunkering sites, saying they had already loaded several illegally refined crude and refined Automotive Gas Oil also known as diesel was sighted in boats by the riverside.

The state NSCDC image maker however said on sighting its operatives the hoodlums took to their heels though they were giving a hot chase, pointing out that men of the Marine Anti-Vandal Squad are on their trail to ensure they are arrested and prosecuted.

He stated, “Acting on this directive the Rivers State Commandant of the NSCDC, Basil Igwebueze, deployed the Marine Anti-vandal Squad to the crime scene where several boats filled with crude oil and refined Automotive Gas Oil were sighted.

‘This is the Abalama community and behind us is the Oproama community as well where Cemeteries were converted to illegal bunkering sites; Upon our arrival, the suspects took to their heels knowing the squad had superior firepower.

‘The NSCDC as an environmentally friendly agency condemns outright all acts of environmental pollution, degradation of aquatic life and economic sabotage.

“We have contacted some good people in the two communities and they are cooperating with us so that the perpetrators would be apprehended in due course. However, the quantities in litres of the locally refined AGO cannot be ascertained.”

He added, “Consequently, the NSCDC Rivers State Command helmsman has further issued a stern warning against the activities of vandals and illegal bunkers in the state affirming that the fight against oil theft is a relentless war and suspects arrested with their sponsors would be made to face the full wrath of the law.”

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Energy and Power

Oil, Electricity Workers’ Unions Mobilise for Planned Strike

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The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its members to comply with the directive of the two labour centres to begin an indefinite nationwide strike on Monday.

Its General Secretary, Mr Afolabi Olawale, in a statement on Saturday, said the union was committed to ensuring total compliance with the directive.

Recall that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) declared an indefinite nationwide strike to begin on Monday, to express their grievances over the proposed new minimum wage.

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In a joint statement signed by NLC President, Mr Joe Ajaero and TUC President, Mr Festus Osifo, the centres declared the strike over the tripartite committee’s inability to agree on a new minimum wage and the hike in electricity tariff.

Afolabi said the union was concerned and disturbed with the insensitive attitude of the federal government “to the very critical issue of negotiating a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers”.

“This is in view of the various socio- economic policies of this administration that have impoverished the working people of this country.

“Leaders of our great union at all levels, from the units, zones and branches, should immediately put all processes in place to ensure total compliance with this directive.”

Also, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) said it was mobilising its members to embark on the strike following the directive of NLC and TUC.

The Acting. General Secretary, Mr Dominic Igwebike, gave the directive to the members in a statement.

Igwebike said that along with the reasons of inconclusive negotiations on the minimum wage and electricity tariff hike, apartheid categorisation of Nigeria electricity consumers into bands was another, to embark on the strike.

“Given the above, all national, state, and chapter executives are requested to start the mobilisation of our members in total compliance with this directive to ensure the government does the right thing as stated above.

“The withdrawal of services becomes effective on Sunday 2nd June by 12.00 midnight, “ the union leader said. (NAN)

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Oil Theft: Navy Impound Three barges, Arrest Seven Suspects in Bayelsa

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The Nigerian Navy has impounded three barges laden with suspected stolen crude oil and refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) ,arresting seven, at Tunu Community Creek, in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) SOROH, Commodore Nanmar Lakan told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that his command received an intelligence report on the illegal activities going on in the area and swung into action.

NAN reports that the seven suspects who were found on board the barges who claimed to be security working under Tunu leadership are kept under custody pending when the investigation is concluded.

According to Lakan, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has complained of the loss of 25 percent of their daily production in the area to oil thieves.

He said he swung into action by sending his men on both air and water surveillance in the area and their efforts paid off as the barges were impounded by his officers and men.

According to the Commander, two of the barges have the capacities of containing 637,000 litres of the products each while the third can contain 700,000 litres of the products.

Lakan added that investigation is ongoing to ascertain the owners of the barges and where the products were meant to be discharged.

He warned those who indulge in such illegal activities of oil theft to desist from such illegitimate business, as the Nigerian Navy will not allow them to find peace. (NAN)

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